(Ninth post in the A to Z Challenge)
"I don't know."
I utter this phrase a lot, and it gets me into trouble. I should probably know better. Socrates said, "all I know is that I know nothing." He was put to death.
To say, "I don't know" is not taken as open-mindedness, but evasion, or lack of effort. Life come with so many pre-packaged answers. Pick one, please. An open mind is an open wound. Grab a bandage. Disinfect.
Imagination expands the choices. We once had oracles and gods to line our paths and explain our fates. Glory and death at Troy, or a long life in the sticks. Now it is 'I don't know,' followed by 'What if?,' followed by 'Let's see,' followed by 'Let's try.'
'I don't know' is the first step into something different. It may look destructive. It may be destructive. I don't know. We can't promise with certainty. To bite from the Tree of Knowledge is not to gain certainty, but to welcome in more unknowing. To be an artist is to let the snake tickle your ear.
Uncertainty is psychologically traumatizing. See poor Ophelia. See mad Hamlet. See Doctor Faustus. Will we encounter the same? I don't know. Imagination lifts our eyes over the horizon, where we hope that paradise is hiding. I think I see hints of light.
But I don't know.
What's the one things you do know? Or one thing you don't know?
Image credit: William Blake: The Temptation and Fall of Eve - illustration to Milton's 'Paradise Lost' (1808, pen and watercolor on paper), from Wikimedia Commons